June is recognized as Pride Month in the United State – a celebration of LGBTQ+ history, perseverance, and culture. The Quincy Democratic City Committee is proud to support and honor Quincy’s LGBTQ community.
Pride has been celebrated across the United States since 1970, the one-year anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, when queer and trans communities stood up to trans- and homophobic violence at the hands of the police. The uprising, led by transgender women of color (such as Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson), was not the first instance of the LGBTQ+ community taking a stand and refusing to accept discrimination, but it did become one of the most visible moments of queer resistance, sparking a national conversation and movement by the LGBTQ+ community. Since 1970, a growing number of cities, states, organizations, and local communities have observed Pride, holding celebrations, parades, and remembrances in honor of the LGBTQ+ community.
This year, Quincy gets to join this list of communities as we host the first ever Pride celebration in Quincy. Today (June 3rd), you can join the LGBTQ+ community for QPride at Pageant Field from 12pm – 6pm. This is an historic opportunity for our city, and we look forward to a long future of celebrating the LGBTQ+ community in Quincy.
While we have made much progress in the 49 years since the Stonewall Uprising, we are by no means finished in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality and queer justice. Indeed, this November, voters in Massachusetts will be forced to vote to support an already established law banning discrimination based on gender identity in public places (such as schools, restaurants, hotels, and more). The fact that we are being required to publicly affirm this settled law is an affront against the thousands of transgender and gender-queer members of our communities who are constantly being targeted for harassment and violence based on their gender. It’s not enough for us to rebuff this naked attempt at discrimination (and we must rebuff it); the fact is that we should never have been forced to hold a vote on this in the first place.
As we celebrate Pride with our LGBTQ+ friends and family this month, we should be proud of what we have accomplished, and we should celebrate the many victories we have won. Yet, we should not forget that Pride started because LGBTQ+ people took to the streets to fight for justice. This fight is not over.
As long as 48% of Massachusetts LGBTQ+ youth consider suicide, this fight is not over.
As long as LGBTQ+ people of color continue to be singled out for homophobic violence, this fight is not over.
As long as LGBTQ+ histories and experiences are excluded from our children’s curriculum, this fight is not over.
As long as LGBTQ+ children in Massachsuetts can still be forced into dangerous gay “conversion” torture/therapy, this fight is not over.
As long as LGBTQ+ youth are 120% more likely than other youth to be homeless, this fight is not over.
This fight is not over. Indeed, in many ways, this fight is only just beginning. Pride is a celebration, but it is not a victory lap. As you celebrate Pride this month, take stock of the beautiful lives and histories that we are rightfully celebrating. Revel in the festivities and enjoy letting down your hair. Recharge in the (too rare) opportunity to surround yourself with queer and trans people joined together. But remember that our celebration is a political statement – indeed, the very public presence of LGBTQ+ people is itself a bold statement of resistance, of survival, and of persistence. We celebrate Pride in June, but the fight goes on all year long – in our city, in our state, in our nation, in our world, and in our homes.
Happy Pride, everyone, and let’s keep the fight alive.
Garrett W. Nichols is the Vice-Chair of the Quincy Democratic City Committee